Chicago PD season 11: Upton & Halstead divorce papers explained

Hailey Upton dropped a bombshell in the season 11 premiere.
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Unpacking" Episode 11001 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Unpacking" Episode 11001 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Chicago PD was the Hailey Upton show during its season 11 premiere. The character was given the lion's share of the narrative, which involved a mentally disturbed suspect, but the real bombshell was during the episode's opening moments, in a seemingly throwaway scene.

SPOILERS for Chicago PD season 11 ahead

Chicago P.D. - Season 10
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Into The Deep" Episode 1007 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

The character, played by Tracy Spiridakos, attempts to get information over the phone as she rushes to leave her apartment. She's running late and looking for her belongings as she tries to make it out the door, and in doing so, she passes by something fans have long dreaded: divorce papers.

After a tumultuous season 10 in which Upton tried desperately to hold on to her marriage to Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), she has decided to pull the trigger and effectively end their union. The specifics of the divorce papers aren't discussed at any point during the episode, but the close-up of the papers does provide some crucial context.

For one, the papers were filed with the State of Illinois Judicial Court, which means Upton, currently the only resident in Chicago, was the one to initiate the divorce. Upton's name is also listed next to the "petitioner" line on the document.

Upton was the one who filed for divorce

Chicago P.D. - Season 11
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Unpacking" Episode 11001 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Another interesting detail that fans might've missed, given how briefly the divorce papers are shown onscreen, is that both Upton and Halstead have already signed the papers. Both of the signature lines are filled out at the bottom of the document, meaning the divorce is already finalized.

This makes sense given the time jump that Chicago PD made between seasons 10 and 11. While Upton was still undecided as to what to do about her marriage last season, the six months that have lapsed have seemingly given her clarity. Happiness? Not so much.

Related: A Chicago PD timeline of Upstead's romance

The character may have taken the necessary steps to end her marriage, but the end of the episode proves that she's still dealing with the emotional aftermath.

She returns to her apartment and tries to unpack (it looks as though she just moved in despite being there six months), before finding a photo of her, Halstead, and Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) from years prior.

Upton is still hurt by Halstead's departure

Chicago P.D. - Season 10
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Let it Bleed" Episode 1001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead, Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

She reacts violently to the photo and accidentally breaks a lamp. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) drops by to offer some comfort, and Upton unloads, saying that her anger is getting in the way of her being a good cop. She claims that Halstead has nothing to do with her frustrations, but her actions in the previous scene suggest otherwise.

There were fan theories that Halstead would return for a cameo in season 11, or perhaps even play a vital role in transitioning Upton off the show, but the fact that they're already divorced suggests that Upton could be looking at a different fate. We're definitely curious to see where she goes from here.

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